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Caesars says William Hill betting apps back in business, apologizes for outage 

Howard Stutz
Howard Stutz

Update: Caesars Entertainment said its William Hill Nevada and Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill apps were restored “to full functionality” Wednesday evening.

 All customers should have access to their accounts, a company spokeswoman said Thursday morning in a statement. The betting apps had been locked up since Sunday when the system crashed during the second quarter of the Super Bowl.

“We apologize for the technical breakdown on our platform and will continue to monitor all aspects of the system closely,” the statement read.

William Hill added two free $50 bonus wagers to individual accounts as an apology for the disruption, according to customers.

Two days after the Kansas City Chiefs hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy, sports betting operator William Hill US was still offline in Nevada after suffering a system meltdown toward the end of the second quarter of Super Bowl LVII, leaving thousands of gamblers on the sidelines during the year’s largest sports wagering event.

The company, which is owned by Caesars Entertainment, commented on Twitter on Monday that it was working to resolve the matter and asked customers for patience.

Gamblers who had placed winning bets online before the meltdown were still waiting Tuesday to receive their payouts. Those who had hoped to bet during the game could not place wagers after the outage.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick said in an email Monday that the agency was aware of the issue and agents from the enforcement and technology divisions were investigating.

A spokeswoman for Caesars on Tuesday provided a lengthy statement from William Hill US, apologizing for the malfunction that crashed both the mobile apps and retail sportsbooks operated by William Hill Nevada.

“The team has been aggressively working to bring the platform back to full functionality as quickly as possible,” the statement said. “We have pinpointed the cause of the system failure and are now working through the resolution with all of our available resources. Unfortunately, as can occur when dealing with a complex, real-time data system, this has taken longer than we had hoped or expected.”

Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill and William Hill Nevada retail sportsbooks were operating as of Tuesday morning, “and we are focused on resolving and restoring the apps,” the statement added.

In Nevada, William Hill has retail sportsbooks, betting kiosks and mobile sports betting associated with more than 100 casinos statewide. William Hill’s operations in other states were not affected.

The outage did not affect Super Bowl wagering at retail and mobile sports betting operations under the Caesars Sportsbook platform.

On Monday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said the state’s sports betting industry collected $11.4 million in revenue and $153.2 million in wagers on the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles in Glendale, Arizona.

Caesars’ statement apologized for the inconvenience and asked its customers for patience.

A William Hill sportsbook inside Buffalo Bill’s Hotel Casino on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

“While we move as expeditiously as possible, we also do so with an abundance of caution to ensure that we do not exacerbate or repeat the issue and that when we bring the platform back up, it stays up,” the statement said. “We have been in regular contact with our stakeholders and our partners as we work toward a solution.”

In its statement, Caesars said it has been developing and slowly implementing a new sports betting platform throughout the country. The company said the platform performed well in other states.

“With Nevada being our longest-tenured state, it is important that our new platform is battle-tested. We look forward to bringing it to Nevada as soon as possible,” the company added.

Caesars acquired United Kingdom-based William Hill for $3.7 billion in 2021. A year later, it sold the European operations of William Hill to 888 Holdings for $2.6 billion.

The business is part of the Caesars Digital Division along with Caesars Sportsbook, the company’s primary sports betting operator that is considered one four largest sports betting operators in the U.S., with business in 18 states and Washington, D.C.

Two hours after kickoff Sunday, William Hill first addressed the issue on Twitter: “We are aware of an issue affecting users in NV. Our team is looking into this, and we hope to have a resolution as soon as possible. We will provide any updates here as they become available.”

By 8 p.m., after the Chiefs beat the Eagles, 38-35, William Hill tweeted, “We are currently in the process of settling all Super Bowl wagers. We appreciate your patience.”


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